Killer Thursdays · ROW80 Check Ins

Thrill Me: Summer Movie List

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

Ah, yes, it’s summer again. Around here, summer lasts roughly half the year and the temperatures average 542°F.

Okay…maybe I’m exaggerating. But not by much.

Fortunately, there are a few good movies to watch while we hide out from the heat.

This summer, I’m all about the thrill. Give me some horror, a little adventure, a touch of psychological disturbance and maybe a super hero or two.

There are two upcoming releases I’m super-duper excited to see:

The Dark Tower series is my all-time favorite Stephen King story. I can hardly wait to see how they’ve translated it into film.

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I read IT around sixth grade (clearly, I needed more adult supervision with my reading choices). It’s still on my list as one of the scariest stories ever.

I’m planning to reread the novel before I see the movie.

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There are several movies I missed in the theater, but I’ll be just as happy watching them on video:

I’m a little hesitant with M. Night Shyamalan movies. Sometimes they work for me, other times… But Split was highly recommended to me, so I’ll give it a chance.

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The original Resident Evil movie is one of my favorites. Of course I have to see all the installments, including Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

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The trailer for A Cure for Wellness reminds me a bit of Shutter Island and American Horror Story: Asylum. How could that not be fun?

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Ah, Life. We all know alien life forms are always evil. Why do people keep looking for them?

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Alien: Covenant is another case where the original movie is one of my favorites, compelling me to see how the rest of the story turns out.

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I’ve grown rather fond of the seemingly endless Spider-Man reboots. I hear Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t another origin story, so that’s a plus.

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And here’s the ROW80* update:

This week’s goals are coming along nicely. Now, I just need to keep up the pace for the rest of the week.

Writing

Still working on the STO scene. I’d hoped to have it done by today, but I knew that’d be a stretch. I think I’m on track to finish by the end of the week.

Cello

I’m putting in lots more than the minimums I set, to the tune of 45-50 minutes daily. I’m tempted to raise the minimums but reluctant to do so until I know I can consistently put in these kind of hours.

Health

Now that I’m back to a normal routine, the intermittent fasting is no problem, and I’ve been able to increase my workout time for each session.

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*ROW80, also known as a Round of Words in 80 days is an opportunity for to set goals (for writing and/or other areas) and share them with a community ready to keep you accountable and cheer you on. If you’re interested in ROW80, you can find more info here and the latest check in post here.

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For my fellow ROWbots (or anyone working on a goal or two): How’s it going?

For everyone: What’s on your summer watch list?

ROW80 Check Ins

ROWmancing the Goals

It’s that time of the week again, folks. Yes, I’m talking about the Sunday ROW80* check in. Time to evaluate the progress so far and decide whether to continue in the same direction or chart a new course, if necessary.

jungle
Your goals are right through there. Head on in.

I’m calling this week a win. I fell down on some of my goals (mostly because I didn’t think about balancing everything I needed to do last week), but I made it through my biggest challenge.

Let’s check in, shall we? Continue reading “ROWmancing the Goals”

just for fun · ROW80 Check Ins · Uncategorized

Do You Let Your Imagination Run Wild?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post.

I’m almost never bored. My imagination is far too active to allow that (it’s entirely possible my imagination is far too active period). Whenever I’m stuck in a situation (especially if I’m stuck without a book) where my brain is not otherwise engaged, my inner theater usually queues up some dramatic cinema feature to entertain me.

Those features (or featurettes, if I don’t have time for a full length show), usually start with a “what if.” What if I walked outside right now and everybody was gone? What if I started growing wings? What if alien soldiers dropped through that skylight up there? What if I open this closet door, and there’s some kind of portal in there instead of my shoes?

What if? What if? What if?

Some of these what ifs turn into stories or will someday. Most of the time, they just entertain me briefly. And save me from the horror that is boredom.

I suppose they sometimes “save” me from stuff I should be doing or thinking about instead. Oh well, blame it on my imagination.

Now, as wild as my imagination is, I think this guy’s imagination may be a bit wilder (which is what makes his videos so fun):

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Alrighty, time for a quick ROW80 update.

Overall, I feel like I’m doing well. I need to change up a few of my goals because they’re not fitting what I can realistically do this week. I’m comfortable with that because I think it’s important to be flexible as well as diligent .

Writing

Still working on the STO scene. It’s coming a lot slower than I hoped. There’s a lot going on this week, so setting a writing goal may have been a bit of a stretch. I’m going to keep working it though.

Cello

I’m solid for practice so far. In fact, I’ve clocked about an hour more than the minimums I set.

Health

I think I’m going to cancel my intermittent fasting goal for the week. I’ve been eating very healthy, but not fasting, due to the strings camp.

As for exercise, I took a day off on Monday but am otherwise on track.

Family

Haven’t instituted game/movie night yet. I’m thinking that’s going to have to wait until after next week.

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ROW80, aslo known as a Round of Words in 80 days is an opportunity for to set goals (for writing and/or other areas) and share them with a community ready to keep you accountable and cheer you on. If you’re interested in ROW80, you can find more info here and the latest check in post here.

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Tell me, do you let your imagination run wild?

For ROW80 folks, or for anyone who’s working on a goal, how are you progressing?

 

Tuesday Toss-Up

Is Patience Really a Virtue?

Merlin the Patient
I AM being patient. Now can I have a bite?

“Patience is a virtue,” I often tell my kids in a sing-song voice, like Rachel Weisz in The Mummy. When they’re asking if it’s time to go to the park yet or “are we there yet” on a long trip, patience is exactly what I need them to have they need. And they happily remind me of that virtue when I’m cursing the internet for being slower than usual or  when I’m telling the driver ahead of me (as if he can hear me) “the speed limit is 55 here, not 35.”

There are so many times in life when we can’t have what we want right when we want it. We have to wait on other people or for opportunities. We have to wait on ourselves to learn what we need to learn. We have to wait till the next season of Walking Dead to find out just how badass Rick has really become or for George R. R. Martin to publish that next A Song of Ice and Fire book already.

And yet the opposite of patience is celebrated far more often in our culture. Go-getters don’t  wait for opportunities, they seize them. Winners don’t let pain slow them down, they pop a [insert brand name over the counter painkiller here] and keep running. Heroes rush in where angels fear to tread. Continue reading “Is Patience Really a Virtue?”

Life List Club

Life is Too Short

I’m posting at the Life List Blog today, talking about the lessons I’ve learned from my grandmother’s passing. Please drop by and say hello and tell us how you would finish the phrase “Life is too short to…”

Life Really is Too Short (Even When it’s Long)


LilyRecently, my grandmother passed away. And, as is so often the case with the death of a family member, the regrets came along with the sadness. Why didn’t I write and visit anywhere near as often as I should have? Why didn’t I know her better? Why? Why? Why?

I realized that life is really too short not to make sure our friends and family know we love the. It’s too short to put off that visit, call, letter or email. It’s too short not to tell them we love them as much as we can.

Life is too short to create regrets.

It’s too short to put off our dreams. Whatever it is we wish for…

Click here to visit the Life List Club blog and read more.

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In other news, I’ll be jumping into ROW80 Round 2 next week. It’s taken me a little while to get settled in this round but it’s gonna be great one.

Check out the April-May writing challenge. It’s all about first impressions and famous last words.

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Lily by ana branca, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Tuesday Toss-Up

When I Have More Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Procrastination. One of my biggest weaknesses. The sweet siren song of “later…I’ll do it…later” calls to me across the great expanse of my to-do list. Does it call to you too?

Here is a piece I wrote for the delightful Pam Hawley one Life List Club Friday. If you’ve ever been seduced by the demon Procrastination or if you know someone who has…or if you’re one of those organized types and just want to point and laugh at us procrastinators, keep reading…

*originally posted at Pam Hawley’s blog on 10/7/11*

When I Have More Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

How many times have you said the following things to yourself?

“I’ll start that diet…tomorrow.”

“I’ll take one of those writing classes after the holiday hubbub settles down.”

 “I’ll try that Twitter thing when I’m not so busy at work.”

“I’ll lay my plans for world domination when the kids get a little older and don’t need me so much.”

“I’ll start/finish writing my novel when I have more time.”

If you’re like me, the count is somewhere around…well, you figured you’d count it up later and then forgot.

I know, I know. You have 542,367,895,129 to do in a day.

Like Spinning Plates

Adding one more thing, especially if it’s not for your day job or your home or your family, feels like it might just bring everything crashing down.

Plates

So we tell ourselves we’ll do it when we have just a little more time. But that’s a big fat LIE. Say it with me, “Liar liar pants on fire.” Because there will never be a little more time. And, if there is just a smidge more time, something else will come along and fill it up.

You know it’s true.

And day after day sneaks past us like ninja kittens until we are left looking back at a long span of years, scratching our heads and wondering how all that time went by without us pursuing our passions. Ahhhhhhh

Believe me, I know how it goes. I’m Queen of Later.

Bow down before me, all you procrastinators, or feel my wrath. Mwahahahaha. Um, what? Oh…really? Ok. Sorry. Back to the topic…

Seriously though, procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses. Email piles up until my inbox is begging for mercy. Laundry piles up until we’re desperately washing tiny loads just to have underwear and jeans to wear. My exercise machine grows a fur coat of dust, my reading list grows and my outline languishes.

It’s so easy to put stuff off, especially if it has to do with writing. And especially when the writing gets hard. I tell myself I’ll just do it later. I promise this time.

But since we all know there probably won’t be a later or a little more time, we have to carve out time right now. Because the demon Procrastinator lurks around every corner and behind every dust bunny.

 Lego Joker

But, um, how do we go about this exactly? How do we smite the Evil Procrastinator?

Here’s some things that work for me:

  • Make a list of goals and pick some folks to keep you accountableLife List Club and ROW80 are awesome ways to put your goals out there and find a cheering/keep-you-in-line section.
  • Start small – If the big goal make you feel like you’re standing at the bottom of Mt Everest, try making tiny daily or weekly goals. It’s easy to build on them and develop a sense of trust in yourself. I’m all about the baby steps. But, if you’re motivated by big goals, set big goals to challenge yourself.
  • Get up early – I am so not a morning person. But, if I don’t wake up at least an hour before everyone else in the house gets up, it’s a huge challenge to get any writing done. Or you could stay up really late instead.
  • Schedule reminders on your phone – Schedule daily writing times and program your phone’s calendar to remind you twice. Really pester yourself.
  • Plan, plan, plan and list – It’s weird, I love to make lists but I used to hate making a daily schedule or an outline. I wanted to be spontaneous with my creative work and just go with the flow…except the flow usually led to nothing much getting done. So now I plan and plot and list. Plus, it’s fun to tick everything off my list.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding and taking joy in every step.
  • Leave yourself notes everywhere reminding you of your goals and cheering yourself on.
  • Cut back on time-sucks – There’s almost always more play in our daily schedules than we realize. We putter around, watch tv, surf the net, etc. At least some of those things can go so we have more time to pursue our dreams.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break – It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Cut back on your goal schedule or take a break. Just be sure to set specific goals for those cutback and breaks too so the goals don’t get abandoned.

So, even though it’s still a bit of a struggle for me, I’m learning to work around my wicked procrastinating ways. And, by all that is caffeinated, I will get my novel written (and the email read, the laundry done, the weight lost…)!

Do you put off your dreams? Procrastinate on your goals? How do you conquer that procrastination?

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Like Spinning Plates by Jameson42, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Plates by mallix, on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Ahhhhhhh by kennymatic, on Flickr CC BY 2.0
Lego Joker by Adam Crowe, on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0